One place I was really looking forward to seeing was the Itsukushima-jinja in Miyajima island. It is touted one of the top three most photographed sites in Japan, and is best viewed during high tide when the towering Vermillion torii seems to float on water.
Unfortunately, it was low tide when we reached the island and we were met with gloomy weather and the torii was surrounded by mud.
This was also the fourth/fifth day of our 10-day trip and my friends and I had been walking non-stop since we arrived. Needless to say, we weren’t in the mood to explore that day.
What we were in the mood for, however, was to eat. So we spent the rest of the afternoon holed up in this street, food kiosk-hopping.
We gobbled up everything we could get our hands on—fresh oysters, baked buns filled with succulent unagi (eel), fried cuttlefish, sweet bean buns shaped like maple leafs, matcha ice cream, fresh sushi with oodles of wasabi, and those Japanese set lunches arranged artfully in bento boxes.
This day holds the record for the most number of times we spent eating. I think the unspoken rule of thumb was, “What we see, we eat.”
While it wasn’t how I expected the day to end up like, it wasn’t so bad. I will, however, make it a point to come back to Miyajima and explore the island (a UNESCO World Heritage site) some more. We shall see…there are still a lot of places I want to see in Japan, Hakone and Kyushu among them, and much still that I want to experience. One thing I definitely want to do is stay in a ryokan, check out Aso-san and Mt. Fuji, go to Tokyo’s Tsukiji market, and watch a kabuki show and a sumo match. Plenty of items to tick off in my Japan bucket list.